Cincinnati's substandard season hurt a lot of people. Obviously the players on the field, the coaches on the sidelines, the fans in the stands and watching on television, the school administration, and members of the UC football support staff ache.
But apart from the departing seniors, and they will be missed, everyone mentioned above will be back next year hoping for a turnaround. Unfortunate losing seasons can have a ripple effect on recruits though. Fired coaches, alienated fan bases, and decreasingly interested recruits are the kind of big picture problems that can turn a snowball into a barreling ball of unavoidable, uncontrollable fury.
Cincinnati can not allow one failed season to become many. Most signs point to resurgence in 2011, but cynics do exist.
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In those low moments of the Pittsburgh loss, Cincinnati's QB of the future Patrick Coyne maintained unwavering confidence in the direction of the program.
"I just hate to lose," said Coyne who attended every home game. "I hate to see all the players looking down when they lose, not living up to expectations this year. Next year we are going to be just fine."
Coyne did not imply, insinuate, or even outwardly suggest he would be the starting quarterback next season. In fact, quite the opposite.
"It is very frustrating," said Coyne. "I am not up there with Zach Collaros, by any means, but it's just the fact that it is a team I am going to be playing for next year. Not the fact that I am thinking of being on the field right now, but it is my team."
Strange to hear a high school athlete call UC "his team?" Not at all. Especially considering that Coyne's camouflage hat could be seen every single Nippert Saturday. From the moment Coyne declared his intentions to attend UC there has been no bigger supporter in the prep ranks.
Don't expect a couple of setbacks to disenchant Coyne. Much like the dream culture Head Coach Butch Jones envisions, Coyne is a Bearcat for life.